My Grief Challenges

It Happened Again !!! April 19, 2014



Well, it happened again. I had spent quite a bit of time writing this weeks post. I found posters and photos to go with it. I was preparing to add a few more lines, then the DJ on Air1 mentioned the South Korean ferry-I cannot handle news nowadays-especially when there is loss of life. I had already been re-thinking the post.   My gut knots were growing more intense and it seemed that I needed to work on a different idea. I just plumb said, “God, are you wanting me to stop writing, or is there something else you want me to write?” Then the GPS song played = You’ll Never Be Alone, by Capital Kings. God used that song, as a source of comfort, one late, rainy night, as I was going to my cousins house in Federal Way, at a point when Shawn was not improving.  Anyway, the wrinkle in my gut did not go away  this “numb” Thursday, while I waited a few moments for kindergartners to hop on the bus to go home.

I, so, ache for the many—who in  years past or recent,  have the gaping hole of grief.   There are so many hurting, because of loss. Loss comes in a variety of ways, natural or man caused, often, earlier than expected. I wish there was a way I could take the pain of each.  I would that I could grab them by the hand, to give a wordless show of care, so they would know they are not alone, even though the grief journey is so very lonely. How can I reach out to strangers and share hope or a smidgen of comfort ? At this time, I have so little to spare. Plus, I do not like my grief journey. What kind of example am I ?

These words started popping in my head. I furiously took notes before my passengers boarded. My hope was that once I typed some of the phrases, I would get a clue as to why the change in my post idea. ???

Here goes:                                                                                                                                                          If only yesterday could be redone                                                                                                                If only the unimaginable never  happened                                                                                                 If only the tomorrows would not be reminders of those missing from our lives                              If only I could have taken the place of the one now gone                                                                      If only the change seemed for a good purpose                                                                                          If only the lonely moments of dread could vanish with a blink                                                             If only the anger had a positive outcome                                                                                                   If only the bothersome questions didn’t come to mind                                                                          If only the life ending decisions, were guilt free                                                                                     If only it wasn’t scary to continue to love, and maybe lose again                                                         If only the longing, to be near the one now gone, could be made real                                              If only, the numb stayed, if only for a momentary reprieve                                                                 If only the longing  for one more talk could actually happen                                                               If only the moments of realization left joy not more missing                                                              If only the achy heart, the body shudders, the tired eyes were signs of a conclusion, not a beginning                                                                                                                                                        If only tormenting thoughts and doubts could be locked away                                                          If only regrets could be stifled                                                                                                                    If only imperfections didn’t exist                                                                                                                If only folks didn’t look at the tears as introspection                                                                            If only displeasure was justifiable                                                                                                             If only the guilt (for whatever) accomplished something                                                                      If only reassurance that suffering did not occur to the one now gone, could truly be known on this side of life                                                                                                     1455086_722509071111075_1600572805_n If only one more hug- that would never end                                      If only the second guessing brought solutions                                                                                        If only the gut wrenching agony caused peace                                                                                       If only the mega amounts of tears could bring change                                                                         If only precious memories wouldn’t fade                                                                                                 If only jokes brought joy not guilt                                                                                                               If only every breath was cleansing                                                                                                            If only the day and night mares could be avoided                                                                                  If only all the undones were completed                                                                                                      If only moving forward seemed possible                                                                                                  If only hope and trust came easily                                                                                                            If only missed opportunities could have another try                                                                              If only the gulps could block the mourn filled groans with no repercussions                                     If only the desire to be with the loved one, again, was possible                                                         If only it was allowable to curl up in a ball until the pain was gone                                                  If only the myriad of emotions could be rejected                                                                                   If only the vast void could be cinched closed                                                                                          If only eating was satisfying                                                                                                                       If only words could explain the gut wrenching agony                                                                            If only the skyward gazes showed glimpses of our loved ones                                                             If only the days of celebration could once again be  joy-filled                                                              If only the excruciating decisions that need to be made, were easy, and guilt free                         If only it didn’t hurt so bad when the rest of the world forgets our agony                                       If only there was no fear of disrespect for our loved one now gone, as one gets back into  life    If only I could lift all this for you and give you the oomph to move forward 

Maybe this is your “Broken Hallelujah” time.  Performed by The Afters.

The “If” comments above were not put in any order.  I have listened to several folks talk about the emotions that happened after a dear one has died.   I have learned that grief is not scripted.

I know of only 1 who can deal with the if only s, It is my prayer any destined to travel  the grief road, be renewed.   For me the words from Psalm 139, are a source of comfort.

May you find bits of peace, as you learn from others on their grief journey                                 May your sorrow filled minutes be replaced with encouragement                                                May a picturesque moment bring forward precious tucked away memories                              May the sound of laughter, once again, cause the corners of your mouth to curve upward           May you see clouds with silver linings and look for more                                                               May drops of rain be reminders of precious kisses                                                                           May the warmth of the sun envelop you as hugs once did                                                              May the breeze bring lightness to your steppings                                                                             May all who know you have patience

This past Wednesday afternoon the sky was filled with clouds, with lots of blue showing through. Most drivers had left for afternoon pick-ups. I had plenty of time, so I mosied up toward my (the) bus. I was gazing at the cloud shapes. Above the area near my (the) bus, several curvy clouds-grays and whites- fit together to leave an opening of a blue heart shape. I have never seen anything like that. Lickedy split I went to get my phone, out of my bus, to capture the design. Suddenly, a bus stopped behind me, blocking this photographic moment. The driver just wanted to remind me that I was loved, and not to forget it. He himself has gone through some challenges and said that now he is on the upside, it feels good to encourage others. Off he went. I quickly grabbed my phone and readied it for that amazing design.  Alas, it was not to be seen. The clouds had pulled together leaving only a small amount of blue. The sky heart and encouragement from a co-worker were a nice way to start that afternoon. A few days previous, someone had placed a metal heart on my bus seat cushion.                                                                                                                                                                    Folks, don’t worry about having profound words to encourage others with. Simple shows of support and care help more than you realize.  And, please don’t shun or run because of escaping tears.



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